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2012
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Sun, Jan 29, 2012 10:03 pm

Customizing the Start Menu on a Windows 7 System

To change the items that appear when you click on the Start button Start button on a Windows 7 system, take the following steps:
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Select the Start Menu tab.

    Start Menu tab

  3. Click on the Customize button.
  4. You can then select which items, such as "Computer", "Documents", etc. that you wish to be displayed.

    Customize Start Menu

    If you want to use the default settings, click on the button labeled Use Default Settings. E.g., you might want to choose that option if some items have disappeared from the Start Menu. The default settings are listed below:

    Computer (default: "Display as a link)
    Connect To (default: checked)
    Control Panel (default: "Display as a link")
    Default Programs (default: checked)
    Devices and Printers (default: checked)
    Documents (default: "Display as a link)
    Downloads (default: "Don't display this item")
    Help (default: checked)
    Highlight newly installed programs (default: checked)
    Homegroup (default: unchecked)
    Music (default: "Display as a link")
    Network (default: unchecked)
    Personal folder (default: "Display as a link")
    Pictures (default: "Display as a link")
    Recent Items (default: unchecked)
    Recorded TV (default: "Don't display this item)
    Run command (default: unchecked)
    Search other files and libraries (default: "Search with public folders")
    Search All Programs menu by name (default: checked)
    System administrative tools (default: unchecked)
    Use large icons (default: checked)
    Videos (default: "Don't display this item)

    Start menu size

    Number of recent programs to display (default: 10)
    Number of recent items to display in Jump Lists (default: 10)

  5. When you are finished click on OK then OK again.

[/os/windows/win7] permanent link

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 7:59 pm

Redirection to Rogue rr.nu Site

While searching for a power adapter, I found a link for the part number of the power adapter for which I was searching that redirected me to www2.smartouholder.rr.nu. That site displayed a fake virus scan (see image), which reportedly was finding malware on the system from which I was searching, but was really just a ruse to try to lure unsuspecting users into buying rogue antivirus software, i.e., scareware. If I tried to navigate away from the site, I would receive a "Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?" message.

Scareware - are you sure

No matter which option I selected from "OK" or "Cancel", I was left at the scareware webpage. After finally getting back to a prior Google search page, I checked the site's reputation at Norton™ Safe Web. It did not list the site www2.smartouholder.rr.nu, stating it had not been tested yet, but it did list rr.nu.

Norton Safe Web reported the following for the rr.nu site:

rr.nu

Summary

Computer Threats:
1
Identity Threats:
0
Annoyance factors:
0
Total threats on this site:
1
 
 
Community Reviews:
5

Norton Safe Web listed "Drive-By Downloads" as the threat from the site.

After I was able to navigate away from the site, I added an entry to the /Windows/system32/drivers/etc/hosts file to ensure that the system would not be able to contact the site again. I put the following 2 lines at the bottom of that file:

# Inserted on 2012-01-29. Site is attempting to download rogue antivirus software
127.0.0.1 www2.smartouholder.rr.nu

When a Windows system attempts to find an IP address for a website name, such as www.example.com, it will first check the hosts file to see if an IP address is listed there for the fully qualified domain name. If not, then it will perform a Domain Name System (DNS) query to obtain the IP address associated with the name. By associating the name with 127.0.0.1, which is the loopback address for the local system, you can ensure that a system on which the entry has been put in the hosts file will see the name as pointing to its own address and thus will never be able to reach the actual site.

Note: if you edit the hosts file with the Windows Notepad editor, be sure you save the file as hosts, not hosts.txt. The file may be marked as read-only, also, so in order to save the file. you will need to take off the read-only attribute temporarily and put the attribute back on after you have saved the file. You can do so by right-clicking on the hosts file, choosing Properties and unchecking the read-only attribute. Or you can use the following two commands from the command line to take the attribute off the file and put it back on after you've edited the file.

attrib -r C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
attrib +r C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

You will need to run the commands from an administrator account to do so. You will also need to run Notepad from an administrator account to edit the file. If you are logged in as another user, you can use the "runas" command from the command line to run Notepad or the attrib command from the administrator account.

E.g., you can use runas /user:administrator cmd to open another command prompt under the administrator account to run the attrib commands or runas /user:administrator notepad to run Notepad from the administrator account. Alternatively, for the attrib command you could use runas /user:administrator "attrib -r C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts". If you are using a domain administrator account you would use runas /user:domainname\administrator.

[/security/malware] permanent link

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